When it launches later this year, the Matter universal control standard will ensure that nearly all smart home devices are compatible with one another, so long as the companies behind these devices integrate Matter with their products. Google recently launched some tools to help developers commit to Matter, and now, Amazon is doing the same.
Amazon’s new Matter tools should reduce setup time for smart home products. They should also enable offline use for some devices, which is interesting. Brands like TP-Link, LIFX, and Sengled will support these tools, so now’s the time to get familiar with them.
Frustration Free Setup Goes Universal
Most smart home devices made or certified by Amazon support Frustration Free Setup, a tool that automatically connects new products to your network. But the company is now offering Frustration Free Setup for all devices that support Matter, even if those devices aren’t available to purchase on the Amazon marketplace.
Adding Frustration Free Setup to a product is easy. Companies simply need to ensure Matter compatibility for their device and follow some basic documentation to get everything working.
Amazon says that it will eventually extend Frustration Free Setup to all devices using Thread, a networking protocol that makes smart home products follow your commands faster. Of course, most devices with Thread will also support Matter.
Enable Alexa Faster, Use Smart Devices Offline
The Matter protocol includes a somewhat confusing feature called “Multi-Admin.” It lets a single smart home device, like a Matter-enabled smart bulb, take commands from multiple smart home controllers or voice assistants at the same time.
To take advantage of this feature, Amazon is launching a Commissionable Endpoint Alexa capability. It lets you quickly add Alexa control to your Matter-enabled devices, even if those devices are already paired with Google Assistant or another tool.
Interestingly, developers can use this capability to add Alexa Cloud and Alexa Local control to their products. Alexa will then take the appropriate path depending on your circumstances—if the internet is down, for example, it will send smart home commands (to supported devices) through the Local offline channel.
We expect the Matter protocol to launch in mid-2022 with support from Google, Amazon, Apple, and other major smart home brands. Many of the tools included with Matter are difficult to understand, but overall, it’s clear that this new standard will significantly reduce the frustration of setting up and using a smart home.